An East Coast attorney visiting Seattle on business said he was surprised by the city’s rampant crime and homelessness after he was stabbed in an attempted mugging on May 7, according to Seattle-based outlet KOMO News.
Joshua Pond was stabbed outside a Courtyard Marriott hotel in downtown Seattle two hours after arriving in the city as he waited for a rideshare to take him and his colleague to dinner, according to KOMO. Job Quimpo, who was arrested for the alleged assault, has previously been convicted for numerous charges including assault, resisting arrest, burglary, carrying a concealed dangerous knife and malicious mischief, KOMO reported, citing court documents.
“I’ve been to Seattle over the years and I never would have expected what happened,” Pond told the outlet. “I just didn’t expect any of these issues. Even in the days I was there subsequently, there were people wandering the streets shouting. I very much hope we can do better to alleviate crime, homelessness and addiction.”
Seattle’s violent crime rate hit a 15-year high in 2022, and homicides surged 24% from the year prior, and there were smaller rises in rapes and aggravated assaults; more than 130 officers left last year. The city cut its police department funding by about 17% in 2021 following the George Floyd protests of summer 2020.
Democratic Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell introduced plans last month to reduce crime, drug use and homelessness downtown through a law enforcement crackdown on fentanyl dealers, improved lighting and more safety ambassadors, and the city has been discussing ways to address the crime problems in the neighborhood surrounding the hotel for about a year, according to KOMO.
A man approached Pond on the sidewalk outside the hotel and demanded his cell phone as the rideshare car approached; the man repeatedly shoved him, then stabbed him after he tried to enter the car, Pond told KOMO.
“The shoves were sharp, there was something different, so I reached back on my shirt and pulled out blood on my hands,” Pond told KOMO. “That was the first time I realized I had been stabbed and the first time I knew he had a knife.”
Pond was hospitalized for several days before returning home to the east coast, and doctors told him the knife nearly damaged his internal organs, according to KOMO. Two days after the incident a man was shot and killed behind the same hotel.
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